NEW YORK: The acting head of the UN nuclear watchdog Cornel Feruta on Monday called on Iran to “respond promptly” to the agency’s questions regarding Tehran’s nuclear programme.
He made these while addressing the quarterly board meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) a day after meeting high-level Iranian officials in Tehran.
He said that in his meetings he “stressed the need for Iran to respond promptly to agency questions related to the completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations”, adding: “Time is of the essence.”
Earlier Monday, the IAEA confirmed that Iran was installing advanced centrifuges, a move that puts further pressure on the troubled 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
The IAEA’s latest statements come a day after Tehran hit out at European powers, saying they had left Iran little option but to scale back its commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In its statement, the IAEA added that the centrifuges had been installed at Iran’s Natanz facility and all of them “had been prepared for testing with UF6 (uranium hexafluoride), although none of them were being tested with UF6 on September 7 and 8, 2019”.
Iran has also informed the IAEA that it will take steps to accommodate “a cascade of 164 IR-4 centrifuges and a cascade of 164 IR-2m centrifuges”.
Under the JCPOA Iran is only meant to enrich uranium using the less advanced IR-1 centrifuge model.